The City of Milwaukee and local organizations are kicking off a new initiative addressing the future of the Historic King Drive and Bronzeville and Walker’s Point neighborhoods north and south of Downtown. The potential for new transit through these neighborhoods has opened the opportunity to think about a range of housing, jobs, public realm and transportation directions for the future. This will be a highly collaborative initiative, with significant community engagement through local organizations, public workshops, multiple local meetings in each neighborhood and an on-line platform.



The Equitable Growth Planning Study will evaluate how to best leverage Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)  to advance existing economic development efforts taking place on these corridors that are directly to the north (Bronzeville) and south (Walker’s Point) of Downtown.  Better connecting these neighborhoods to the 81,000 jobs in Downtown will increase Streetcar ridership and provide ladders of opportunity for Near Northside and Near Southside residents. And while the planning project is geographically focused on the proposed King Drive and Walker’s Point Streetcar extension routes, recommendations of this study will also be used to help guide development along all of the City’s major transit corridors, whether Streetcar, BRT, or existing express bus routes.

The study will use an in-depth market analysis and extensive input from area residents, businesses, elected officials and other stakeholders to develop a set of goals and recommendations for how these neighborhoods can capitalize on improved public transit. The intention is to create options to attract new businesses and to provide expanded housing options, with transit as a driver. The study will also develop affordability strategies aimed at minimizing the potential risk that future development pressures will displace existing residents and businesses. 



How will this initiative be funded?

Funding for the study was provided through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Pilot Program for Transit Oriented Development Planning Program.  The Historic King Drive Business Improvement District and Harbor District Inc. partnered with the City of Milwaukee to apply for these funds and to lead the development of this Equitable Growth Planning Study.


When will it be completed?

The Equitable TOD Planning Study will formally launch in August of 2017 and will last roughly one year.  There will be a number of public meetings carried out in both study areas to help shape the recommendations of the study, as well as multiple other ways for the public to engage with the process online and at other neighborhood events.


What can we expect from this initiative?

  • Meaningful public engagement to seek input on future development the public wants
  • An assessment of the City’s zoning code to ensure it supports higher-density mixed-use TOD development along transit corridors
  • Development plans and policies for key sites to determine market potential, desired density and intensity of development, and create conceptual renderings.
  • A connectivity plan that makes recommendations for streetscape improvements, wayfinding and gateway signage opportunities, bicycle and pedestrian connections, and other infrastructure improvements needed to increase ridership, connect the streetcar stations to the surrounding neighborhoods and break down barriers to equitable access.
  • A housing market analysis including housing development strategies, with a focus on providing new affordable options within TOD, preserving existing affordable housing, and protecting the historic properties along the corridors.
  • Recommendations on locally viable innovative financing strategies that may be used to support TOD


Are there partners on this project?

MKEUnited shares an inclusive vision for Downtown Milwaukee and its adjacent neighborhoods and is our partner in this initiative. Creating better transit connections between downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods, ensuring a diverse mix of housing options, and supporting local business along neighborhood commercial corridors are all MKE United goals that will be furthered through this study.    The Halyard Park Association, Historic Brewers Hill Association, and Walker’s Point Association are also partners in the project to ensure that the input of residents adjacent to these transit corridors shapes the final recommendations.

The Department of City Development has hired Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) to lead the development of this Equitable TOD Planning Study.   SOM is a world-wide leader in Transit Oriented Development planning and urban design.  HR&A Advisors has also been hired to prepare the Market Analysis for each neighborhood and develop recommended affordability strategies aimed at minimizing displacement and preserving affordability.  P3 Development Group, Abrazo Marketing, and Lockly Valuation Services are among the local firms working as part of the consultant team. 



Aerial Map



Give your feedback and catch up on the study at these final events happening in your neighborhood.

DateEventTimeLocationLink to Flyer
8/14/2018Final Community Workshop & Open House4PM - 7PMPop-Up MKE
339 W North Avenue
MLK Final Open House Invite
9/8/2018Final Community Workshop & Open House11AM - 2PMHarbor Fest
Tribeca Cafe: 1318 S 1st St
Walker's Point Final Open House Invite



Please provide us your contact information so we can keep you up to date on the project and send you links and questions to provide your input.